Microsoft adds near-final TypeScript to Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

Microsoft's superset of JavaScript, TypeScript, is now integrated into the latest Visual Studio 2013 update.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is rolling out a second tech preview of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 on February 25 -- one with support for its new TypeScript language and tooling built in.


Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2 includes the near-final release candidate of TypeScript 1.0 "in the box." (The TypeScript 1.0 Release Candidate also is available for Visual Studio 2012 customers as a standalone installer.)

TypeScript, a three-plus year-old Microsoft project, is all about creating a typed "superset" of the JavaScript scripting language for large-scale projects. Anders Hejlsberg, the father of C#, is one of the key members of the TypeScript team. Microsoft officially announced TypeScript and made a first test build of it available to developers in October 2012.

Microsoft officials said the final release of TypeScript 1.0 will be part of the final release of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. They aren't pinning a target delivery date on when Update 2 will be final, but given the rapid pace at which the team has been rolling out Visual Studio updates, it probably won't be long.

"JavaScript was intended for 100-line apps, not thousands-of-line apps," Hejlsberg said during a call I had with him this week. That's the gap Microsoft is trying to fill with TypeScript. 

Hejlsberg called TypeScript one of Microsoft first big forays into open source from the get-go of the project. (It's available under an Apache 2.0 license.)

As of CTP2 of Visual Studio Update 2, TypeScript officially becomes a "first-class language in Visual Studio," Hejlsberg said. "It will be in Visual Studio proper, as opposed to a separate download."

Hejlsberg said he has been surprised himself about the adoption of TypeScript since its announcement, both internally at Microsoft and externally.  Microsoft's browser-based development toolbox, codenamed "Monaco," was developed using TypeScript. The new UI in Xbox Music, various Bing projects, the F12 tools in Internet Explorer and Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite also were all written using TypeScript, Hejlsberg said.

What else is in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP2? Among the updates:

  • Integration with the latest ASP.NET MVC, Web API and Web Page releases 
  • Entity Framework 6.1 Beta 1 is now included 
  • Windows Azure Notification Hubs can send test notification messages to Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices and check the outcome in real-time
  • Inclusion of Team Foundation Server 2013.2 Release Candidate, with Go-live license for TFS components and Git improvements
  • Support build of Java apps in hosted Git repositories with Visual Studio Online

The CTP 2 build is cumulative and includes everything already released in CTP 1 for Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.

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